Learner’s Submission: Case Study of Decentralization in Maharashtra, India


Decentralization is the most revolutionary development in India because behind it are all the forces when released will change the structure of the country – Jawaharlal Nehru, Former Indian Prime Minister. This was the quote said my Indian Prime Minister while he introduced the Indian Parliament with the 73rd and 74th amendment of Indian Constitution in 1960 which marked as a pioneer stage of decentralization in India. Today has over 2.5 lakhs Panchayats in which there are over 32 lakhs of Grass-root leaders elected by the people of that village and out of it 12 lakhs are women. It is a mile stone of India and an excellent vehicle to drive decentralization at a very basic level. The main reason of decentralization is to give chance to people to govern themselves because consistent progress is what matters. Power to rule should not lie upwards with central officer but downwards with local authorities. Quantity of GDP generated is less important that quality of GDP.

Decentralization in Maharashtra started in 1961 and today there are 28,000 Gram panchayats, 350 Panchayat Samitis and 33 Zilla Parishads. But instead of this there were quarrels continuously going on in Maharashtra which we resulting in social tensions and hence the police complaints were increasing at a rapid pace ultimately creating a huge pile of court cases; Considering the huge pendency of cases in various Courts and the inevitable delays in delivering judgments, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the need of the hour. In fact this was the reason for the formation of Loknyayalas and Fast Track Courts. Maharashtra Government made a plan called as Dispute-free village scheme also called as (Tanta Mukti Gaon Mohim).According to this Plan, a village with most number of points gained after solving the cases at village level were awarded with cash prizes hence disputes taking place within families or due to small reasons were not introduced in court and golden mean was found out by the Gram Panchayat (Village Authorities) only. It reduced the Police work to a great extent. The Maharashtra model is likely to be replicated in other developing countries, where logistics and infrastructure of the judicial machinery were weak, Mr. Dighavkar said. He will also spend time with social scientists, reformers and peace makers in various universities and share the model and his experiences with them. Speaking of the achievements of the scheme, he cited figures in Pune district where 790 out of 1,134 villages have become ‘dispute-free’ in the last two and a half years and hence the district received Rs. 19,31,000,00 ($4.4 million), as the prize money from the State government. Since October 2009, 36,294 conflicts at the village-level were resolved and now, 28,084 cases were awaiting resolution, he said.

The salient features of this mission are:

1. Formation of Tanta Mukt Samities at each and every village in the state.
2. Identification of existing disputes, classifying them into criminal, civil, revenue and noting

3. Them down in a register maintained by the Samitis.
4. Preventive schemes and measures to ensure that disputes do not occur.
5. Resolution of existing and new disputes in a democratic, fair and participative manner.

Decentralization is the backbone of democracy because it really proves the meaning of democracy- For the people; by the people.” – Ameya S. Kulkarni – Maharashtra, India

Learner’s Submission: Human Resources Development in India


“Development of each nation depends on various parameters; those are different from nation to nation, time to time.  India has much catching up to do, the Human Development Report 2013 released by the UNDP, ranked the country at a low 136 among 186 countries on its human development index. May thing is needed to be done in order to enhance development.

Appropriate Policy, Stable Legal frameworks, Institutional development, Community participation, human resources development and strong managerial systems are the key factors of Capacity Building. Leaderships of the nation have to work in strengthening those key factors.

In context to India, policy framing is formulated by the Planning Commission. The economy of India is based in part on planning through its five-year plans, which are developed, executed and monitored by the Planning Commission of India. The eleventh plan completed its term in March 2012 and the twelfth plan is currently underway. India has some difficulties in achieving those target plans. Those difficulties are to be reduced by modifying its implementation mechanism.

India has relatively stable Legal frameworks. The distribution of power between Judiciary, Administrative and Legislative well defined. Level of conflict in between them is low. It is good parameter for development of India. There are various levels of judiciary in India. They form a strict hierarchy of importance, Supreme Court of India at the top, followed by High Courts of respective states with district judges sitting in District Courts and Magistrates of Second Class and Civil Judge (Junior Division) at the bottom. Administrative power is distributed between central and state. However Judiciary is overburdened, it is to be solved.

Institutional development is important in promoting development. India has strong and powerful bureaucratic public administration system. Despite of all advantages it is suffering several problems like redtapism, empire building, and goal displacement. The system has to be modified so that it can deliver results according to the legislative intent and it can become Participatory, Democratic and Consensus Oriented, Accountable, Transparent and Responsive in true sense.

Community participation is essential for enhancement of development. There are several indicatives have been taken in order to enhance people’s participation. The most important step is panchayti raj (Local Government at village level). Article 40 of the constitution directs the government to establish panchayats to serve as institutions of local self-government. Most states began implementing this Directive Principle along the lines of the recommendations of the government’s Balwantrai Mehta Commission report. In some states there are reservations for women and minorities. However India got independence with feudal system. There are several remnants of feudalism like cast system, untouchablity are existing in several areas. The higher cast suppresses lower cast people very strongly in several places. Indian constitution doesn’t allow it. However Indian system sometime failed to prevent such thing in practical field. Such failure is fueling ultra-left outfits especially in central India. Governments have to show zero tolerance to violation of people’s rights and have to enhance people’s participation. Tainting and education of people’s representatives is also required in this aspect.

Proper initiatives will enhance the development of India.” – Rupak Ghosh – West Bengal, India

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